4.4 Characterizing extreme heat events in the Southwestern U.S. in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Climate Change Module

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 2:30 PM
4C-2 (Washington State Convention Center)
William L. Crosson, USRA, Huntsville, AL; and M. Al-Hamdan, M. G. Estes Jr., S. M. Estes, H. Flowers, S. Hemmings, J. R. Qualters, and G. Wade

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is developing an integrated surveillance system related to climate change using the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (EPHTN) as a platform. The system, named the Climate Change Module (CCM), will provide both public and secure access to data and information. The goals are to include public health messaging, general information and links to specific climate change data and other resources. Potential functions and benefits of the CCM will include: 1) Recommending a core set of nationally consistent climate change-related data and measures with a capacity to include other measures as data become available; 2) Supporting further development of, and access to, climate change-related data, tools and methods in both a secure and public platform; 3) Providing secure communication and collaboration among NASA, CDC, other data partners, and climate-change researchers; 4) Communicating with the public and policy makers through a central resource for climate change-related health, environmental, and policy information.

As part of the CCM, remote sensing data sets have been used to characterize extreme heat events (EHEs) in the southwestern U.S. during 2000-2006. Four major and eight minor EHEs were identified based on daily minimum and maximum heat index values determined at National Weather Service observation sites. Land surface temperature (LST) data from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors were then used to calculate daily temperature statistics for areas classified by a land cover/land use data set as being places where persons live or work. This analysis has been performed separately for each county within the study domain for the EHE days as well as typical summertime days, which serve as reference or baseline conditions. These LST data will be provided through CCM's public and secure portals to facilitate further analysis and support goals of the EPHTN, specifically those related to adverse health effects of excessive heat.

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